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'Ranting' man arrested after truck crashes into Dallas TV station

Michael Chadwick Fry, 34, is accused of slamming his pickup truck into a Fox affiliate station. A reporter said he was yelling about "high treason."
by Claire Atkinson and Associated Press /  / Updated 

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Dallas police arrested a "ranting" man who they say repeatedly rammed his pickup truck into the building of a Fox-affiliated television station during a live newscast on Wednesday morning.

Police said Michael Chadwick Fry, 34, was charged with second-degree criminal mischief, a felony, after he slammed his truck into windows near the entrance to KDFW-TV and hurled a stack of papers onto the street and sidewalks downtown about 6 a.m. (7 a.m. ET).

News anchors, who stayed on the air through the newscast despite the crash, said nobody was hurt.

It wasn't immediately clear what led to the bizarre display, but Dallas police Maj. Max Geron said the man "had mental issues and indicated 'people were trying to kill him.'"

IMAGE: Michael Chadwick Fry
A man identified as Michael Chadwick Fry holds a sign to the window of the Fox-affiliate station in Dallas a truck crashed into the side of the building on Wednesday.KDFW-TV

The incident heightened fears of violence at news outlets following the fatal shooting in June of five people at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, but Geron said on Twitter: "This incident DOES NOT appear to be an attack motivated against the media."

KDFW posted details on Facebook showing photos of the front of the vehicle and damage to the building. The man was unable to enter the station, and he was arrested at the scene, police said.

Anchor and reporter Brandon Todd, who witnessed the man pacing outside the station before he was arrested, said that the man was yelling about "high treason" and that he believed he had clearly been wronged and that someone was trying to kill him. The man started crying when police took him into custody, Todd added.

"It's not real clear to what his message was," Todd said.

The police bomb unit was called to the scene after the suspect removed a bag from his vehicle; no suspicious devices were found.

Police said Fry intentionally crashed into the building several times. The papers littering the street referred to an officer-involved shooting in another city in 2012, Geron said.

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported at the time that Fry was a passenger in a car driven by Roberto Carlos Hernandez, who allegedly put the car into reverse and rammed in a Denton County sheriff's patrol vehicle. The deputy shot Hernandez, who later died, the station reported.

Court records show that a man of the same name and birthdate has been arrested more than two dozen times in Denton County since 2003, most of them on minor drug- or alcohol-related charges.

In 2003, he pleaded no contest to assault causing bodily injury and was sentenced to 110 days in jail. Details of that incident weren't immediately available on Wednesday.

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